Blackhawks

Emery looking to show Hawks what he can do

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Emery looking to show Hawks what he can do

Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011
Posted: 6:16 p.m.

By TraceyMyers
CSNChicago.com BlackhawksInsiderFollow @TraMyersCSNRay Emery is a hopeful guy entering the Blackhawks training camp next weekend. Hes getting a chance at a backup goaltending spot, another chance at continuing his career.

Im excited that Im with a good young team that I could contribute to, he said Saturday, where he was with other Blackhawks for their day at U.S. Cellular Field. I just want to do well and show I can help them win a few games this year.

Emery spent enough time doubting things in 2010. He was diagnosed with avascular necrosis, a degenerative disease that deteriorated 90 percent of his hip joint; it couldve led to a collapsed hip and hip replacement. Even with the bone graft surgery to fix it in the spring of 10, he said there was perhaps a 60 percent success rate.

Rehab, time on crutches, a return with the Anaheim Ducks, Emery went through it all. But he got through it all, too, and now hopes his hockey renaissance can continue in a Blackhawks uniform.

There were a lot of ifs and hoping and wondering, Emery said of the ordel. But everything went in my favor and I was able to get back pretty quickly. Im pretty happy with the way it all went.

Last summer Emery was on crutches. This time hes getting ready for the season. Hes doing some of what he did during his rehabilitation, range-of-motion work as well as his normal routine. He said hes also been skating the past three weeks.

Emery will be competing with Alexander Salak, a young Czech netminder who the Blackhawks acquired along with Michael Frolik from the Florida Panthers. Emerys been here before and obviously has the veteran NHL background that Salak lacks. But it ultimately comes down to two weeks of training camp and who shines above the other.

Emery has dealt with the doubts about his health. Now hes ready to show how confident he is in his game.

Even after (last season) finished I took a month off and felt a lot of improvement in my hip where I had the operation. I slowly but surely realized I wasnt thinking about my injury. I was just able to concentrate on playing hockey. I wasnt able to do that last year, he said. Im excited. I feel pretty good.
Mourning friends
The plane crash that killed a majority of the Lokomotiv (KHL) hockey team early this week touched many NHL players. That includes Emery, who lost four former teammates in the crash. He played with Karel Rachunek in Ottawa and lived with Josef Vasicek when they were both in juniors.

I just couldnt imagine what it was like for families back home, having that empty feeling when you lose someone like that, said Emery, who had played one season in the KHL with Atlant Moscow. It was an awful day.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should Blackhawks' One Goal be to tank?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should Blackhawks' One Goal be to tank?

On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Seth Gruen (Big Ten Unfiltered) and Jason Goch (SB Nation Radio) join Kap on the panel. 

The Blackhawks drop their 8th straight. So should their “One Goal” be to tank?

Plus, Jon Lester isn’t a fan of the new pace of play proposals. Is he right?

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here:

With playoff chances all but over, what can Blackhawks do at trade deadline?

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USA TODAY

With playoff chances all but over, what can Blackhawks do at trade deadline?

After losing their eighth straight game and falling 12 points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference, the Blackhawks' playoff chances have dipped to a season-low 0.2 percent. It would take a miracle for them to extend their postseason streak to 10 at this point, where getting just one win seems like a monumental task.

The Blackhawks were probably never really going to be buyers before the Feb. 26 trade deadline even if they were still in the hunt, but it's hard to imagine they had plans to be sellers. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has reiterated over and over again that he's confident in this group, one that's getting younger and faster.

But now they've reached a territory where they have to consider selling off spare parts simply to coup some draft picks or prospects that they could perhaps retain or use as sweeteners in the offseason.

So which players could the Blackhawks realistically sell?

Let's start with the two players getting rewarded with top-six ice time as of late: Lance Bouma and Tommy Wingels.

These are two players that play with high energy and go to the greasy areas, something that's important in the playoffs when scoring goals becomes more difficult. They can clean up rebounds. Wingels, particularly, likely has more value and it's showing given his recent success on the power play as a net-front presence guy. He also isn't a stranger to the playoffs with 54 games under his belt compared to Bouma's five.

Both of them are pending unrestricted free agents and are making $1 million or fewer, which certainly works in the Blackhawks' favor considering they won't cost much and their cap hits are easy to fit in on any interested team.

Maybe a team would like to take a flyer on Tomas Jurco, who's a restricted free agent at the end of the season, but that would be a move somebody makes as more of a longer term project than strengthening your depth for a playoff run this spring.

On the back end, Michal Kempny and Jan Rutta could be in play for a contender looking to ensure some depth as a sixth or seventh defenseman. Again, each of them are making less than $1 million so it's a low-risk situation for clubs whose Plan A or B fall through and may be interested in at least getting something.

While they don't have much NHL experience, they're both 27 years old and have played the sport long enough to know what they can bring to the table.

Once Feb. 26 passes and potential roster spots open up, expect the Blackhawks to start calling up the kids. 

Matthew Highmore deserves a look after leading the Rockford IceHogs with 20 goals and 32 points. John Hayden has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 15 games since joining Rockford, and belongs in the NHL. Even Anthony Louis, who's taken a step forward, should get a taste of the action as he continues his development.

Carl Dahlstrom is getting his shot now. Erik Gustafsson is in that process as well. Gustav Forsling had another extended look during the first half of the season before the team decided it would be wise to continue his development in Rockford, where he can play top-pairing minutes.

All of this would give the Blackhawks a better indicator of how they can approach the upcoming offseason, and which young guys they can possibly add into the mix for 2018-19. But first, we have to see how the end of February plays out before making those calls.